Skala: Great View, Surprisingly Decent Food
Skala is one of the largest restaurants on the tourist strip in Oia, reached via a steep staircase to a large open air terrace with canvas roof and a central wood burning oven. The central location and great caldera and village views make Skala a very popular venue. The tables are a bit crowded and unfortunately not all have a view over the water. Service is businesslike - 99++% of the diners will never return again.
The extensive menu features a large selection of Greek specialties at pretty reasonable prices given the prized location. Most entrees were 15-20 Eu, salads and appetizers mostly below 15. As is our usual custom, we went for grilled fish which were very good if not great. The highlight was the seafood salad (imaged) - fresh seafood, fresh vegetables, great dressing - ideal opening choice. A chocolate cake shared made for a good ending.
Skala's food is not great, but it is very good especially for a totally tourist oriented operation and a very good choice.
Sunset Fish Club in Ammoudi: Worst European Dining Experience in 40 Years
The important criteria in evaluating a restaurant should be food quality, price, and service. For me items like ambience and decor are secondary ( see Tia's - Boston). We were strongly recommended here by our hotel and admit it had the best view of the sunset on the Ammoudi strip.
On the occasion of my beloved P's birthday, we did something we almost never do - ordered the high priced special, lobster in pasta for 95Eu. And waited and waited as our surly server avoided us. After 30 minutes, the almost cold beers long gone, standing up and blocking his path finally got some attention and we were assured that our food would be out in seconds. 15 minutes later, a remarkably puny lobster arrived in a large bowl of pasta.
Forgetting the size of the creature, there was not so much meat inside and what we found was chewy and tasteless. The overcooked pasta tasted only of an excess of oil. There was supposed to be a vegetable. It will show up sooner or later. 95Eu thrown away on a horrid tourist trap.
Many of the restaurants on this strip have similar names, hard to figure out what is on the internet.
Favorite Dish: The beer was probably cold at some point in time, as the bottle was sweating.
The bill came promptly and the server departed quickly - no surprise as the place was almost empty by the time we got out of there.
But sublime food....: Astronomical prices....
Be warned, eating in Santorini isnt cheap! unless you live on souvlaki!
The restaurants in Fira overlooking the Cauldera charge a fortune, but some are also some of the best restaurants in Europe.
We self catered for breakfast in our apartment (big breakfast so lasted most of the day!)
One thing to bear in mind is that about 45min after the sun has set, it is pitch black and the cauldera view that youre paying for in the restaurant is now pitch black nothing, so best to book a table half an or so before the sunset so you get value for view time!
Heres where we ate/drank:
-Simos restaurant in Firostefani - near Reverie hotel. Not the best of places, the waiter was a bit creapy, service wasnt that great. We just had lunch here which was just a salad to share and some olives with bread and some water, juice. Not the greatest location and still quite pricey, 20 euros for that lot.
-Mama Thira, in Firostefani - it has a cauldera view although we didnt get in time and were further back in the restaurant. Food was very good, we were a little drunk before we got in (champagne on our terrace before going out!) so cant remember exactly what we had but we remember it was tasty and well presented. We had some chicken wrapped in bacon for starter and veal and lamb kebab for mains, just one beer, which came to 55 euros.
-Vallas Cafe, Firostefani - just stopped in here for 2 very good milk shakes, overlooking the cauldera. 6.50 euros each! but very good.
-Tropical bar in Fira-nice pubby feel with a view (although we went in the dark) - the terrace is tiny so youll be lucky to get a seat with a view. 10 euros for a red bull and am amstel.
-Diverso on the main squarein Fira, good place to people watch with seats outside. 2 cocktials were 16 euros!
-Two brothers bar-tiny bar but very good, good service and music and easy going. Happy hour 2200-2400, 2 for 4 cocktails at 8 euros for the 2 - not bad at all.
-Melevio, Oia - nice views from this terraced cafe, we just had mile shakes that werent very good and water and it was 16 euros!!!!
-The souvlaki place next to Two brothers bar on the corner is great!
Stamna Garden Tavern: Danger for American Tourists
I was forcibly and violently attacked by the owner of Stamna Garden Tavern (restaurant), in Fira, Santorini, who punched me in the stomach and pushed me into a wall where I was held against my will by him and his two employees who surrounded me and would not allow me to leave.
The entire ordeal was due to me cancelling my food order (within 30 seconds of placing it). Upon seeing cockroaches in the dining area, and dirty kitchen, my only comment to the person who took my order was "something just came up and I need to cancel my order."
The person turned out to be the owner, who insisted that I stay because my food was "almost ready". I apologized and said I really had to go, that the food wasn't yet ready, and I had to leave. He went into the kitchen and grabbed some food, said "your food is ready now" and shoved it in my face while saying "I hate you f@cking Americans).
Santorini police did nothing to enforce their own laws, or to protect tourists. In speaking with local businesses, they revealed that the police are frequently called to that business, but nothing ever seems to happen to the owner and things have not improved.
When I called the police, their only response was "We will call the owner to ask him what happened. Call us back in 10 minutes." For the next hour there was no answer at this 2 person police station.
It is clear that locals can act criminally against tourists and without fear of intervention from law enforcement. The island was dirty and dangerous, and should be avoided by tourists.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
AEOLUS: TAVERNA OF THE WINDS
I first came across this place on my first (of many) scooter rides across Santorini. Aeolus was the master of the winds in Greek mythology and this place is very well named! Perched on the cliffs above Akrotiri, it actually has the best Caldera views on the island of Santorini. Not only do they have a great location, the food is good and you can even rent a room from them.
The business is owned by Litsa & Babis Darzentas and is definitely worth at least a cup of coffee just for the views. I had the best omelette ever. It had cheese and sun dried tomatoes with olives in it. Delicious. They do a range of meals including traditional Greek grills. The only downside is you have to drive here – so no sampling of the wines! You could stay here of course.
They also have the distinction of having the cleanest toilets on the island. Really impressed. Photos are available.
An omelette with sun dried tomatoes, olives and covered with feta cheese. Followed by a much needed expresso.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
Kapitan - Fish Taverna: great seafood on the beach!!!
We came upon this taverna while driving on the eastern coast of Santorini to Oia. The Kapitan Fish Taverna is located just few minutes south of Koloumpos village on north-eastern shore of the island.
The building is tucked in between rock, beach and small parking lot that serves adjacent fishing marina.
We went there for lunch twice avoiding expensive Oia restaurants but still having this magnificent town in close proximity for sightseeing and photos.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed there fresh grilled fish, tomato latkas, salads, and nice cold beer.
Ouzeqi: Great Place For Informal Dining
After the superbly-organised weekend of Euromeet 2007 those of us who were still around fragmented into smaller, more casual, groups. Our little splinter offshoot met up here at Ouzeki for dinner on the Monday evening and to say thanks to Gala for all her hard work.
This is a friendly little family-run restaurant in the centre of Fira specialising in traditional dishes. Being tucked away in a sort of side street makes it relatively inexpensive and avoids being overly touristy.
Favorite Dish: This is another ideal place for eating meze-style, as the Mezedopoleio surtitle would suggest. I think Gala (still working) ordered for us and the dishes just kept coming. Local wine, cold beer and if I remember correctly an extremely cheap bill made for a very satisfying overall experience.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Poseidon: What The Greeks Do Best!
Definitely the best way to eat out in Greece is in company. Order a range of appetizers to share to fully appreciate the diversity of the cuisine and then if you want anything individual as a main course you can do so.
Here at Poseidon my company for the main Sunday dinner, during Euromeet2007, numbered eighty-odd and boy did the restaurant do us proud!
Obviously eating as a large group I can't really comment on what the norm is for the place but everything was great. Eating outside in the balmy early June heat was a pleasure. The service was outstanding, food just kept flowing as did the beers and wine. Obviously we created our own ambience but I can imagine that even when a bit quieter this would be a pleasant place to eat.
Favorite Dish: We were on a set-menu but absolutely nothing wrong with that. Appetizers, of which there seemed a never-ending array, included the usual Feta salad, mixed salads and the local bean speciality, along with copious quantities of delicous bread. For main course I had opted for the swordfish which came as a huge freshly-grilled steak with home-made chips and yet more salad. I think there was also something for pudding but Carlos and I opted for more beer instead!Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Zafora: Super Sunset Mezes
We went to Zafora to watch the sunset, but stayed for the food.
A beautiful, typically Greek restarant, the largely open property clings to the clifftop in the town of Fira right beside the entrance to the cable car stop. It's rustic, with wooden fencing and cobbled floor - clean, great service, and good food at the right price.
I ordered us some cocktails and hot mezes. You could choose hot or cold but I would have to recommend the hot ones.
Plates appeared quickly, then a large platter of vegetarian starters; filo parcels stuffed with spinach and cheese, sausage-like dishes that turned out to be melted cheese sticks, pastries full of lightly spiced onion and others with vegetable. The filo parcels crumbled in our mouths and then melted. I longed for more, but reminded myself that there was a huge dinner waiting on our ship.
One disappointment was the dessert. I ordered Baklava and ice cream but it was heavy and stodgy, unlike any Baklava I have ever eaten anywhere. Two days later we had proper Baklava in Turkey and I was relieved to be able to show my Mum I wasn't day dreaming about what is usually a delicious dish.
Don't forget that one of the big things about this place is that it's recommended as the best spot to watch the sunset and so it can get crowded around that time.
Also, if you decide to sit at oone of the edge tables closest to the street you will be treated to the odour of freshly laid donkey dung as the animals walk the steep incline from the port below.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Kandouni: Private and Quiet
Again, another restaurant off the main tourist path that puts all the ones overlooking the caldera to shame. Both the owner and his wife welcomed us warmly to Santorini after hearing we had only just arrived, and were happy to tell us about their island. We were greeted with a taste of vinsanto as we waited for our table, and treated to a delicious dessert on the house. Fantastic food in a private and cozy atmosphere, Kandouni is definitely recommended.
Favorite Dish: The kalamari appetizer with pesto and ouzo was fantastic.
Roka: Where the locals go
Roka, if you can find it, will be one of the best meals you have in Santorini. It is located in Oia, but not on the main tourist path along the caldera. Our hotel manager recommended we try Roka's for authentic Greek cuisine, assuring us it is where the locals go. Sure enough, after making our way through Oia's back alleys, we came across this completely charming restaurant with beautiful patio seating, and were treated to a delicious meal. Even better, it was by far our least expensive meal on the island!
Favorite Dish: I tried bekri meze - beef sauteed in red wine and herbs. Delicious!
Dmitri's: Fresh seafood in Ammoudi
Some of the fresh fish was a little pricey, but the smaller items were reasonably priced and very good. Price range completely depends on what you order. I really wanted to try the lobster pasta, but in the end settled for the small fried fish and was very happy with the meal. Also a great atmosphere, eating right along the water.
Tzanakis Tavern: Megalochori Tavern
The place look decrepit from the outside, very simple and without pretentions. But, I should say it was one of the best taverns we had in Santorini.
The place is run by a family, husband does the waitering and wife stays in the kitchen. Both are very, very cordial and accommodating. We probably were even treated better as they are friends of our hotel owner.
They are open for lunch and dinner and usually have some daily specialities. They also have a grill so you can order your steak, roast beef, lam or chicken.
Usually towards the end of your meal, they will give you some sweets courtesy of the house so you can even skip ordering for your dessert.
Favorite Dish: Ask for the tomato balls, those were very good. Their fish plates are also highly recommended.Related to:
- Food and Dining
What to Eat
Small tomatoes (Cherry tomatoes growing up waterless)
Fava (Yellow split peas)
Grapes (Wine Varieties)
One glove garlic
Water melon (Small)
Goat cheese (Chloro)
Taverna Panorama, Thirassia: Great Food, Great Views :)
This was a great choice by our wonderful organisers during Euromeet 2007 - Cheers girls!!
The rightly named "Panorama" restaurant sits at the top of the mule path leading up from the harbour here on Thirassia and the views are stunning. Even tho' there must have been 60 or so of us the service was excellent, the food spot on and the beer cold!! Well worth a visit :)
Also well worth walking up to to get that first beer in as the mules can be a bit slow - well I always say the first beer has to be deserved ;)
Favorite Dish: I think I had the swordfish souvlaki and especially considering that we were a large party It was absolutely excellent, juicy meaty chunks of fresh fish with a subtle seasoning. The array of appetizers equally good and the bread delish. Salsagirl's moussaka looked good and by all accounts all enjoyed what they had.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
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